Should city of Marietta save historic site?

Some Marietta residents attended the Sept. 13 meeting of the Marietta City Council to ask city officials to buy the 1838 Oakton estate before developers purchase the 5.5-acre property, demolish it and replace it with houses or townhomes.

For more than two years, Oakton House and Gardens, 581 Kennesaw Ave. NW, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, has been for sale, according to co-owner Michelle Goodman. She said she prefers to find a family or group to preserve the property, but no one has responded to their sale request - except for businesses that want to tear down the house and develop “up to 13 homes in the front yard.”

“I always felt I was not allowed the opportunity to live here only to let it be destroyed. As much as I do not want to, there will be a point that we might have to listen to a developer,” she added.

Mayor Steve Tumlin and the City Council members did not offer any comments during the meeting. There has been no budget items to purchase the property and no discussion on what the city would do with it if they did purchase it.

What do you think?

Should preserving the historic site be the responsibility of the city? Should the owners and others concerned about the fate of the dwelling look for private means or even a non-profit to save the building? Or should the city find a way to keep the building and use it for the public good? Or even still is selling it to developers so that it will be torn down to make way for more development a solid solution?

Send comments to Responses may be published in print or other formats and may be edited for length and/or clarity.


Lawyers for murderer Keith Tharpe want his 1991 death sentence overturned because one of the jurors later signed an affidavit admitting using racist language and harboring a bias against blacks. There is no dispute that Tharpe killed his sister-in-law and kidnapped and raping his estranged wife on Setp. 25, 1990. Tharpe’s lawyers filed new motions after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in March that courts can examine what happened in a jury room when there are showings that racial prejudice played a role in the deliberations.

U.S. District judge rejected the claims because 10 other jurors said there was no racial animus in their deliberations. Tharpe’s lawyers are now asking the 11th Circuit to consider the juror misconduct claim.

Here’s what some readers had to say:

There is no doubt that this vicious killer should be deprived of the rest of his life. Good Grief!! this has dragged on for 27 years and we're still trying to make up our minds as to whether or not Keith Tharpe should be put to death. This matter should have been resolved many, many years ago rather than providing living arrangements for him. Of course, behind the scenes there are those in the legal profession that profit from this mismanagement of the law by continually creating obstacles. This type of farce makes our legal system appear weak and unable to enforce the rule of law. — Bob Grayson, Cumming

In response to your question in article in Sunday's AJC regarding reversing death penalty for convicted killer Keith Tharpe: No, No and again NO! — Anne H. Palmer, Attorney at Law

The death penalty should not be a political issue or a racial issue. It should depend on how heinous the crime was the defendant is being accused of. In thiscase, the crime (not necessarily the man) is justification enough for the death penalty. — Jaime Martinez

If there is racial prejudice in a juror’s deliberation it should have been reported to the Judge prior to the jury’s verdict so that the Judge could remove the prejudiced juror and installed an alternate to complete the deliberations.

If attorneys are allowed to go back and examine a jury's deliberations and file appeals based on specific jurors comments during deliberations then we are opening up a whole can of worms and OJ Simpson's jury should be the first one examined and the not guilty verdict overturned because of the jury's prejudices which have been well documented in multiple documentaries. — Haywood Hardin, Greenville, SC

The death penalty should never be a factor. Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord — not the human beings who have their own faults. We should put more engery into preventing these crimes and rehabilitating those who commit them. — Mary Johnson, lifelong Georgian and born-again Christian